Bins: keep it weekly


Jews in north Manchester are protesting against slashes to rubbish collections which they feel discriminate against large families and will lead to unhygienic conditions and dumping.

Residents in both Bury and Manchester boroughs will have weekly standard waste collections reduced to fortnightly. Bury families with four children or more will have their entitlement to a second bin removed unless they responded to a questionnaire by today. However, while successful families will get second bins they will be almost half the size.

Strictly Orthodox Jewish representatives are meeting Bury council officers today to try to counter the proposals designed to save millions of pounds in landfill fines imposed by the EU. Bury Council is facing £32 million cuts over three years but landfill charges of £17 million over the same period. But Jewish families in Salford and Trafford will be unaffected because councils there are maintaining weekly collections.

Prestwich resident Mark Miller contacted local MP Graham Stringer over the issue and has rushed to apply for a second bin before fortnightly collections are introduced on July 11.

"We've got six children. Large families produce a lot of waste. I do recycle but it's just sheer volume," he said.

Manchester City Council is increasing collection of separate food bins to once a week. A spokesman said: "There is no evidence from other councils where similar changes have happened that this leads to an increase in flytipping."

Prestwich resident and mother-of-four Estee Barr, whose home is under Bury council, said families simply would not cope with fortnightly collections and she was rushing to apply for a second bin before today's deadline.

"Bins are bursting every week. People, out of sheer desperation, are going to put bin bags on the streets. Even now people leave black bags that don't get picked up."

The plans will be seen as a U-turn for Bury's new Labour-controlled council, after councillors and MP Ivan Lewis campaigned to halt fortnightly collections prior to local elections. Whitefield Jewish councillor Michelle Wiseman, whose Conservative Party introduced the fortnightly proposal before losing the council in May, said the authority would look sympathetically on large families, adding: "Labour councillors were electioneering because they knew it was a hot topic, but it is a pity they gave people false hopes."

Prestwich Labour councillor Alan Quinn said he was assisting Jewish families in opposing the plans for smaller second bins. "We are not breaking any election pledge. We would have liked to have stopped the plans but when we came in they were already in place," he added.

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